The New York Times is reporting that Richard M. Burr, the “tobacco-state senator who tried a filibuster this week against a bill that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the cigarette industry” has apparently given up, clearing the way for the bill to pass the Senate. A similar bill has already passed the House and Obama says he will sign the legislation.
What will it mean to have the FDA regulate tobacco?
The legislation, known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, would for the first time empower the Food and Drug Administration to measure and restrict the harmful chemical components in tobacco and cigarette smoke. It would also require the agency to review new tobacco products; ban the use of terms like “light” and “low tar” that might misleadingly suggest those products were safer; require new, larger health warnings on cigarette packages; and tighten restrictions on marketing and advertising.
Phillip Morris is in favor of the legislation, which it helped write, because (according to critics) the additional bureaucracy would help it retain and/or grow its already considerable market share.